Capturing Animal Behaviour

 
Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty. Your aim is to get as close to the action without actually disturbing the moment. Photograph/Mahesh Mhangore

Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty. Your aim is to get as close to the action without actually disturbing the moment. Photograph/Mahesh Mhangore

Study as Much as You Can
To photograph a wild animal, you must really be in love with it. There is quite a lot of reading material and videos you can watch to learn about why an animal behaves in a particular way, and when it is likely to do so. One of the best sources is BBC’s Planet Earth, narrated by the legendary David Attenborough.

Be Patient
Nature is completely unscripted, and the course of events, while observing an animal, can change in a matter of seconds. If things don’t go according to your plans, don’t fret. Keep still and keep a look out. Even if you are unable to capture what you set out to, you might end up with great unexpected photographs.

Animals have seasonal clocks and can be seen in certain spots at certain times. Make note of the same to photograph them. Photograph/Shomendra Mann

Animals have seasonal clocks and can be seen in certain spots at certain times. Make note of the same to photograph them. Photograph/Shomendra Mann

Be Camera Ready
Sometimes, when on a safari, your guide will inform you of a certain animal that has been spotted by another ranger and will immediately take you in that direction. Depending on which animal it is, keep your camera ready with all the appropriate settings. For example, chital are very flighty, and an entire herd can take off in seconds if they sense danger, so a fast shutterspeed becomes a necessity. Alternatively, big cats like tigers are usually lazing around and have a slow, lumbering gait. Unless they are hunting, of course. Here, you have the scope for experimenting with various compositions in order to make the best possible frame.

Tags: animal behaviour, David Attenborough, fast shutterspeed, Planet Earth, snakes, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography